OPM Finalizes, Narrows Rules Allowing Longer Term Appointments

In certain situations, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has finalized rules permitting agencies to hire employees on a term basis for up to ten years. This represents a significant increase in the time allowed for such appointments. However, the authority granted by these rules is significantly less than what was proposed in September 2020.

However, the final regulations published in the Federal Register on December 1 will enable term appointments of up to that long in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics posts.

Appointment Information

It was stated that the change would allow agencies the flexibility and discretion to hire individuals whose knowledge, skills, and capabilities could be tailored to a specific project but might not be permanently required or transferable to other agency functions. 

This longer-term appointment may also assist agencies in recruiting individuals with specific specialized knowledge. These individuals may be interested in acquiring additional skills and experience working on a project basis, but they would be less likely to pursue or accept a career position. 

This authority is not intended to substitute for regular agency hiring; instead, it is designed to supplement existing hiring authorities targeted for longer-term projects that are not permanent. Normal agency hiring will continue as usual, coupled with the initiative:

Direct Hire

Agencies may use the word “direct hire” and other noncompetitive hiring practices when employing appointing authority. Such appointments are intended to fulfill particular short-term agency needs. 

However, in the end, the employees do not have the permanent status that would otherwise provide them with some protections against being laid off and reinstatement priority. In addition, such employees do not have the right to be converted to permanent positions non-competitively.

Temporary Hire

Temporary appointments are often used for those expected to continue for less than a year, whereas term appointments are typically used for those expected to last for one to four years. However, the appointments can be extended in specific instances with OPM permission.

OPM stated that in response to comments to the proposed rules showing that the need for longer appointments is highest in the STEM fields, it has decided to drop its original plan to extend the period for all positions in time-limited organizations or projects. 

This decision was made because the comments showed that the need for longer appointments is highest in the STEM fields. It was underlined that agencies are free to continue following the conventional methods for filling other posts.

Employee organizations frequently contend that agencies have the potential to abuse time-limited recruiting authority to avoid employing permanent workers who would be entitled to extra safeguards and to circumvent competitive service hiring procedures. 

Contact Information:
Email: caine@myfeag.us
Phone: 3039011337

Caine Crawford Sr. uses his more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry to help Federal Employees throughout the United States with their Benefits and retirement needs. Caine is President and Lead Benefits Counselor for the Federal Employee Advocacy Group, based in Denver Colorado.

When Caine’s father sought to retire from CSRS, he came to Caine for help. It was then that Caine discovered a lack of financial resources readily available to federal employees, and he sought to become better informed to help others. Caine met with his first GSA client in 2008, and he was shocked to learn that client truly did not know what to do with a thrift savings plan (TSP) after retirement. Following that meeting, Caine founded Federal Employee Advocacy Group and became laser-focused on helping federal employees maximize income and benefits while minimizing expenses and taxes.

Caine teaches Federal Benefits and Retirement workshops for Federal Agencies, all across the Country. He understands federal benefits can appear somewhat complex and lack clarity. By creating a custom benefit analysis, Caine pinpoints the gaps in clients’ current plans, maps out TSP growth based on historical data and ensures clients have a lifetime of income and a dignified retirement.

Caine has now published his book, The Educated Fed: Your Guide to Understanding & Maximizing Federal Benefits. The Educated Fed is a self-help book for federal employees who want to learn how to maximize their federal benefits for retirement. Inside you’ll find answers you didn’t even know you had questions for…With the help of a retired Department of Defense employee, Caine will walk you through all of the moving parts that are your federal benefits and show you which ones you have control of, which ones will make you money, and which ones could cost you. Even though we’re in the information age, we’ve found out that an “informed” federal employee is not as well positioned as an “educated” federal employee. The Educated Fed aims to address the gap between information and real education that we observed in teaching hundreds of federal benefits workshops across the country for numerous agencies.

Caine graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Science in finance. He then lived in Colorado for 25 years before moving with his family back to South Carolina to live near a lake. He and his wife have four children and enjoy spending time together when they can among their busy schedules. Caine also enjoys coaching lacrosse at the local high school.

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